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WiSo Alumni Interview – Mark Bommer

Start up founder Mark Bommer. © Julia Vogel Photography

Mark Boomer started with us as a student and student assistant at the WiSo. Now, he has his own start-up: Klappt. In our latest WiSo alumni interview, he tells us how this came about, what he took away from his time at WiSo and tips he can pass on.

Mr Bommer, a few years ago you were still working as a student assistant (SHK) in the Dean of Studies Office, and today you have your own start-up! Why don't you tell us how that came about?

Founding a start-up has always fascinated me, but it wasn't actually a goal I set for myself. The start-up came more as a solution to a problem.

After university, I worked in a management consultancy and was almost exclusively in my home office due to the coronavirus pandemic. But my flat had no space for a separate office, so I had to work permanently from the kitchen or dining table. Fed up with the improvised and often untidy workplace, I started looking for a space-saving desk that could also be used for office work. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything. Without further ado, I designed my own desk and built it myself using parts from the DIY store and the internet. After a few days, the folding table was hanging in my flat and I finally had my own workplace. As time went by, more and more friends approached me about the table. Among them was my good friend Karo, whom I knew from my flat-sharing days. With her, the idea came up to make more out of it. So we went to a friend's carpentry workshop and worked with them to develop the table further and further until we ended up with our ‘Klappt.’ wall desk. At the same time, we developed more products to make life easier in a home office in a small space and see ourselves as a start-up that offers smart solutions for New Work and Tiny Living.

The Klappt in action. © Julia Vogel Photography

Klappt. is a height-adjustable folding desk and is highly innovative in its product segment. What special features has this created for you so far?


The desk combines two things that were clearly separated just a few years ago: living and working. The furniture industry therefore mainly built desks and components that were designed for the office and were far too clunky and visually unappealing for homes. In our product development, therefore, we could rarely rely on existing solutions and often had to break new ground. For example, there was no height adjustability for wall desks. (Of course, this was a curse and a vision at the same time.)

Almost all parts and features are individually selected, and the table is a real one-off: a wall desk that checks all the boxes for an ergonomic, functional, stylish home office.

‘Klappt. Better than a table.’ Is a great slogan. Is there a story about how you came up with it? [Note: in German, ‘klappt’ has a double meaning: ‘it folds’ and ‘it works’.]

Klappt. was a spontaneous brand name, actually suggested as a joke. Over time, we realised how many puns could be implemented with it and how apt the name is for the product. So the slogan was also a play on words at first, but it simply works very well. Klappt. is stylish, functional, and ergonomic, so it’s better than a table in every way! 

What does your everyday life in your start-up look like?

We’re really still in the early stages of a start-up. At the moment, a lot of things are still new and there’s no real daily routine. At the moment, we spend most of our time increasing our visibility. My business partner Karo and a student trainee are taking care of building our brand and marketing. This includes looking after the website, our social media channels, possible collaborations, and our start-up network. I mainly take care of production and coordinate the processes with our suppliers.

You completed your Bachelor's degree with us in economics. Are there any important insights, approaches and experiences that influence your day-to-day work in your start-up today?

Thinking analytically and wanting to solve complex issues helped me a lot. But what is most helpful from my bachelor's degree in economics is my circle of friends from Cologne University. Most of them studied business administration or economics and now have jobs that they can help me with again and again. They are simply worth their weight in gold when it comes to marketing questions, tax and financial issues or strategic decisions.

Finally, do you have three tips? What would you like to pass on to our students?


  1. Be the biggest fan of your own product. Enthusiasm motivates you and is contagious.
  2. Don't let up. There will always be challenges, but you’ll find a solution in the end.
  3. Take it easy ;). Every now and then you need to take a break.

Interview by Lorraine Hoffmann

Mark Bommer and business partner Karoline Niermann. © Julia Vogel Photography